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Auckland to be declared free of fruit fly

Staff writer |
Auckland is expected to be officially declared free of the Queensland fruit fly. Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) director-general Martyn Dunne told the Primary Production select committee an announcement was expected soon.

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"Subject to some final protocols, we intend to conclude the Queensland fruit fly incursion and hopefully declare Auckland Queensland fruit fly-free."

Grey Lynn was put under a fruit and vegetable lockdown after a male fruit fly was discovered in February, with the last fly found on March 7.

Restrictions were eased to allow customers who bought produce from MPI-approved retailers within the controlled area to take the food outside the lockdown zone.

MPI sprayed at-risk areas and set up bait traps as it moved to contain the outbreak. If the outbreak had spread it could have been hugely damaging for the horticulture industry as the Queensland fruit fly can make fruit and vegetables inedible.

New Zealand exports about $2.5 billion of fruit and vegetables a year to trade partners including Asia, the United States and Europe.

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